ylmyeq · 2021-02-16

Synergy key to great workshops

The learning process isn’t engaged when a non-specific presentation is “pulled of a shelf and delivered,” says Lisa MacKenzie, president and founder of Canadian Business Health Management (CBHM).

“We’ve all sat through canned training and we all know how that goes.”

Instead, MacKenzie looks for certified specialists who are dynamic personalities capable of developing and delivering programs specifically designed to meet client needs.

“These are very much workshops,” she says of the corporate training she brings to her clients. “We model in the training what they need to be doing when they go back.”

Company trainers, including Jean Sinden who specializes in performance training, work in collaboration with participants through facilitation rather than opting for a more instructional approach.

“Workshops can be challenging, fun, productive and, from time to time, tense,” she acknowledges. “It’s really the synergy of the group that brings out the real challenges and how they can solve issues.”

As a result, participants take ownership of the process and “can really walk away with some great tools,” MacKenzie adds.

In 1997, MacKenzie (a registered nurse by trade) started providing first-aid training. From there it evolved into health and safety training, and then into wellness. While 95 per cent of the training is done at the client’s premises, when CBHM moved into new facilities in downtown Orillia two years ago, they gained their own training room allowing in-house monthly courses as well.

MacKenzie’s husband Ian, who has a business-consulting background, joined the team in a later expansion. In addition to sales and marketing duties, Ian has developed a first-aid program that has been approved by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) and by the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB), which has also approved his two-day Part One Certification program – a must for joint health and safety committees.

Performance training was added to the mix when Sinden joined the team seven years ago. This goes hand in hand with health and safety, MacKenzie explains. Rarely does a corporation choose only one component to focus on, she adds. Instead, the interconnections between several programs tend to be used together in a continuous process of learning.

With a background in leadership development and strategic planning, Sinden has spent about 90 per cent of her career speaking and training. Although she spent much of her earlier career in the financial-services industry, she has delivered CBHM’s performance training across sectors.

Acknowledging a changing workplace and the changing demographics of the workforce, she starts by providing an overall briefing of why the changes are necessary to mesh with the overall corporate vision.

“I see the lights go on,” Sinden says. “Helping them understand the context and what it means to them is important.”

She works with employees, supervisors and team leaders, and corporate leaders to strengthen targeted competencies. She does this by leveraging existing performance to build skills and knowledge to meet the changing demands of the client.

“Knowledge is what you know,” she explains. “Skills are what you do with what you know.”

While companies usually seek solutions to problems that have already arisen, Lisa MacKenzie says there’s value in being proactive.

“They already have an idea of where they were before, and where they want to go,” agrees Ian. “We’ll set out a path that can help guide them.”

In a conference setting, CBHM is available to kick off the event and set the tone.

For details, visit www.YourSafetyExperts.com or call Lisa directly at 705-325-0006, extension 223.